By the age of 85 a man has a 1 in 4 risk of developing prostate cancer.
In its early stages the disease may not produce significant or obvious symptoms making diagnosis and early intervention difficult in some cases.
For many men prostate cancer is often curable if detected early particularly if the disease is confined to the prostate gland. It is therefore important that men with a family history of the disease or are over 50 years of age have regular checkups with their GPs.
The most common methods used to detect warning signs associated with prostate cancer are the PSA test (prostate-specific antigen test) and the DRE (digital rectal examination).
Found in the semen and in the blood, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a protein made by the cells of the prostate gland. The PSA test measures the amount of the protein or PSA in a man’s blood sample. Once a blood sample is taken it is sent to the laboratory for testing.
The higher the PSA level, the more chance that prostate cancer is present.